Everyone remembers the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. It’s that place in Switzerland where millions of dollars have been spent replicating the effect of a Black Hole.
Sure, you can build on a 27 km ring of thousands of superconducting magnets designed to boost the energy of two beams of particles so that they can be collided into each other at close to the speed of light. You can do all that if you like… or you can just go to a DRD Committee meeting. There was an awe-inspiring Black Hole in the second half of its agenda on Wednesday afternoon.
This was what the DRD Committee had scheduled yesterday between 11.10am and 12.40pm.
11.10 am – 11.30 am …. … Written evidence from the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation. (NONE)
12.00 pm – 12.10 pm Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Written briefing on the implications for Regional Development. (NONE)
12.10 pm – 12.15 pm Land identified for abandonment and disposal: Quarterly update. (NONE)
12.15 pm – 12.25 pm Committee response to DRD on the Accessible Transport Strategy Action Plan. (NONE)
12.25 pm – 12.40 pm Subordinate legislation. (NONE)
None? Mmmm. And some people used to think black holes are unobservable. But there it is – an observable phenomenon occurring intermittently between 11.10am and 12.40pm at Wednesday October 14. (The nano-hamsters are emailing NASA as we speak!)
Also, I was drawn to this explanatory note attached in the agenda:
(Please note these timings are indicative)
It gives you a glimpse into how bureaucracy works – you must indicate the quantity of time required for 11 MLAs and a couple of clerks to discuss precisely nothing (just in case you run over?).
Eg. Discussing no subordinate legislation? Could be 15 minutes, might over-run to 20 minutes. Discussing no written briefing on the implications for Regional Development within the Marine Strategy Framework? Mmmm… 10 minutes? 5 minutes? 2o minutes?
A vortex of nothingness where time is meaningless and which permits no energy nor anything bright to escape can be called a Black Hole… or a DRD Committee (depending on whether you’re a astro-physicist or a politics geek).
In truth, this kind of phenomenon has been occurring all over Stormont. If the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY were to produce more LEGISLATION, then the committees would be able to scrutinise it and agendae would fill up with work.
But this also shows us one other thing – MPs aren’t the only people wasting tax-payers money. Those boffins in Switzerland are havin’ a laff. You can observe the terrifying power of the Black Hole without all that hoo-ey about magnets – all it costs a plane ticket and a taxi ride to Stormont. I demand an investigation.